Eat those words, Mr. Perle

Right now we are struggling to win more multilateral support to help maintain order in Iraq. (This is so urgent that Paul Wolfowitzf is lying through his teeth, insisting we always wanted the UN to be there with us and always welcomed them with open arms. Check the story — it’s one of Marshall’s best posts ever.)

But if anyone needs a reminder of the contempt in which we held the United Nations only a few months back, maybe this passage from Bush advisor Richard Perle will be useful:

Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror is about to end. He will go quickly, but not alone: in a parting irony, he will take the UN down with him. Well, not the whole UN. The “good works” part will survive, the low-risk peacekeeping bureaucracies will remain, the chatterbox on the Hudson will continue to bleat. What will die is the fantasy of the UN as the foundation of a new world order. As we sift the debris, it will be important to preserve, the better to understand, the intellectual wreckage of the liberal conceit of safety through international law administered by international institutions.

And you wonder why the world sees America as a go-it-alone, with-us-or-against-us cowboy that holds the UN in contempt? And you wonder why the UN member nations are so reluctant to join us?

The Discussion: 3 Comments

Allowing UN troops anywhere near Iraq is a inviting disaster. The real soldiers have enough to do without having to equip, superivise and rescue that rabble. Here’s a link on the subject.

September 6, 2003 @ 5:44 am | Comment

The article’s point may be true, and maybe UN troops would be a big minus. But the fact is that the Bush administration is lobbying hard to get those troops and because of their past hubris they are having a very hard time. Whether they should be asking for those troops or not is a whole other conversation.

September 6, 2003 @ 6:25 am | Comment

Aren’t we being a little hard on the UN forces? When I visited Israel 19 years ago, the UN forces were doing SOOOOO much to keep the peace.

Plus, they were great photo ops. Only UN troops would hand over their baby blue helmets and guns to Americans to take photos.

September 7, 2003 @ 6:22 am | Comment

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